Whether you dine out once a year or you're a frequent flyer like me. There are many ways to make your dining experience more desirable. I'm not just talking about sit down kind of restaurants. These tips can be used when dining at food trucks, lunch with co-workers or eating dinner with loved ones. Dining out, shouldn't have to be about not just wanting to cook at home. It should be about having fun with friends and experiencing new foods and new environments.
First, never let price deter you from visiting restaurants. Bring friends and fellow foodies along to share dishes. Most restaurants offer shareable dishes from appetizers to desserts. Sharing Dishes is a great & quick way to taste more of the restaurant's menu. Plus it's a great way to pig out and not feel too guilty. Pay attention to happy hour specials. Most restaurants happy hour menu usually have the same dish you been eyeing, but at a cheaper price. Same thing goes with beers & cocktails. Plus splitting a $70-$100 bill 3-5 ways is a lot better on every ones wallets.
Step outside the box!! We all love the basics like chicken, grilled cheese etc... If you're going to spend the money, might as well get something unique that will leave your taste buds wanting more. It also opens ones mind and taste buds up to different cuisines.
Use apps or websites like Yelp, Opentable, Tripadvisor to help find what is and isn't popular in your area. You also get hours of the restaurant, a good look at the menu, make reservations and check reviews. But there is a key thing here: "Take reviews with a grain of salt." Actually read the reviews, don't just look at the stars. If you see one bad review among many, don't let that scare you away. But if you start to see a trend of bad reviews, then you probably should stay away.
If your mom makes the best of something, then try not to order it at a restaurant. You're most likely going to walk away disappointed. I don't know how many times I've dined with someone who's mom makes the best of something, then they leave an restaurant all angry because it wasn't up to par. We all know, whether good or bad, no one makes meals like good old mom makes them.
Try to eat local & support your local restaurants. A lot of positive can come from this. Healthier menu options and the head chef and fellow cooks are most likely locals looking to put a shine on local farms & ingredients. Plus you're putting money back into the community and that is always a good thing.
I know we all have busy schedule, kids & etc... Allot some time for date night or special foodie nights with friends. It makes it all that better when all your friends & you can meet up and experience some great food and conversation. Check out sites like www.jaxrestaurantreviews.com, & www.staugfoodieadventures.com, they have monthly foodie events. For a good cost, you can enjoy 4-6 course meals with other fellow foodies from the area. With sites like www.eventbrite.com, you can find foodie events and festivals in your area. Also pay attention to some of your favorite restaurants on Facebook & Instagram. They always post events like wine/beer dinners that are always fun to attend.
I do hope this article helps on your future dining experiences. There is always a good time waiting for you. Chefs are working hard behind the scenes to prepare you a meal you'll never forget. And there's a wait staff, waiting to assist you and make your night even more memorable.